The Alchemy Tuition Blog

Who Invented Homework?

Homework has always been contentious among teachers and students. Teachers see it as an essential resource that improves learning, gives students conceptual clarity and reinforces concepts learnt at school.

On the other hand, students view it as a waste of time, an additional burden, comes with extreme levels of difficulty and heightens stress and anxiety.

Even in some teaching circles, it’s possible to find teachers who have reservations about homework. Parents are also not left out of this fiercely contested debate. Which leaves the question, who even thought homework was a good idea in the first place?

Pliny the Younger: Ancient Rome

Surprisingly, homework has been around for many years. Mentions of the term “homework” date as far back as the early 1st Century AD in ancient Rome. Back then, an oratory teacher called Pliny the Younger was thought to have invented homework by asking his followers to practise public speaking at home to make them more confident and fluent in their speeches.

Indeed, not to the same level as modern homework. The assignment wasn’t the type of written work that students have to do at home nowadays. Also, the homework at that time wasn’t in a learning environment.

Horace Mann: The Father of Modern Homework

Horace Mann was a politician and educational reformer who had a strong interest in Germany’s compulsory public education system. Pupils attending “People’s Schools” were given a mandatory assignment that they needed to complete at home during their own time. This was in the 19th century.

This requirement also emphasised the state’s power over individuals when nationalists like Johann Gottlieb Fichte were rallying support for a unified German state. At the time, the state used homework as an element of power play.

It’s not surprising that homework traces its roots back to politics. Regardless, it spread across Europe, finally finding its way to other countries like America, where it became a daily activity in students’ lives.

Robert Nevilis

Robert Nevilis takes most credit for inventing homework. The Italian pedagog was a teacher who felt that his teachings lost essence when they left the class. He was disappointed that students failed to outperform themselves despite how hard he worked.

He decided to take different measures, which resulted in homework. However, as it is known today, homework was not its objective of Nevilis. Nevilis saw homework as an alternative means to punishment, as physical punishment was not an option.

What Is the Purpose of Homework?

Most of the contention around homework could be because the different parties don’t fully understand the purpose of homework. This is a topic that has been discussed not just by those who invented school but those who invented homework as well.

Today, there’s still a widespread opinion that homework is not obligatory for mastering the studied material. However, educators have learned that homework plays a crucial role in improving the quality of the student’s knowledge.

According to Roberto Nevilis, this academic task provided the student with the opportunity;

  • To work without the limitations of time
  • To study without any external limitations
  • To choose an optimal time for them to work
  • To work independently on the assigned work
  • To research and use all sources of information available to the student

The value of homework hasn’t changed over the years. These values include;

  • Fixing in memory the material disassembled in the classroom
  • Repetition of previously passed material
  • Consolidation and expansion of various skills that are necessary for independent work.

Types of Homework

Although homework has been around for many years, there weren’t many types of homework before because there was not enough testing to create a formula for effective studying at home. Today, teachers involve different types of homework in the studying process to help students master the coursework and increase retention. Some kinds of homework include;

  • Conducting observations and experiments
  • Performance of oral exercises
  • Performance of written exercises
  • Preparation of reports on the studied materials (coursework writing and reporting)
  • Mastering material under study according to the textbook

Teachers use a balanced approach to the different homework types to help students easily perceive the information and understand it better.

What’s the Role of Homework in Improving Education Quality?

Contrary to popular opinion, the role of homework is not to control students but as an opportunity to get students to devote time to the studied subject. It helps students internalise and sharpen their skills on a specific topic already taught in class.

Without completing homework, the student deprives themselves of additional studying time and the opportunity to consolidate knowledge and practice the skills acquired in the lesson.

5 Tips on How to Memorise an Essay

Mastering and memorising essays is a part of being in high school. But with so many essays to draft, write and memorise, it can feel like an impossible task. You might even be wondering how you can pull it off.

There’s no disputing that memorising multiple essays is not an easy task. However, like everything else, you can use a few tips that will make the process easier and make it more productive. Here are five such tips to get you started.

  1. Break it down

Essays can be anywhere between 800 and 1,200 words long. Trying to memorise the whole essay is an uphill task that requires a lot of time. Even with all the time in the world, you might still not be able to memorise the whole of it. But, by breaking it down, you can make it easier. Typically, every essay will have an introduction, several themes with related texts and a conclusion.

Start by memorising the paragraphs while paying attention to the structure. Having a killer structure makes it a lot easier to remember the overall bones of the essay. You can further break it down to each topic sentence, an example of that topic sentence, an explanation, and its connection to the thesis.

  1. Read before you sleep

Sometimes, memorising an essay isn’t complicated. You just need to leverage the biological nature of your brain. This tip is great when you have left the essay for the last minute. You can avoid wasting time memorising it word for word. Instead, read it over a few times, pick up on the key ideas in each paragraph then go to sleep.

Studies have shown that the brain reviews and relearns the information you just studied while you sleep. Also, when you sleep, the brain has a better retention rate. However, you have to ensure the study session right before you sleep is focused and you’re not dosing off.

  1. Read, cover, write and check

This is another strategy that students employ when they leave mastering the essay for the last minute. It is more like rote learning, which doesn’t work in the long run, but it can work if you have a small window. It will help you remember the essay short term, which you want at this point.

Start by reading a part of the essay once. Cover it, take a piece of paper and write it or say it aloud. Open the essay and check to see if you were right. Take another part of the essay and do the same. Keep repeating until you can regurgitate the entire essay in order.

  1. Use Keywords

This is another good tip for cramming a lot of work in a small amount of time. Number each paragraph and count how many sentences each paragraph contains. Take a closer look at each sentence and in each of them, pick a few trigger words that will help you remember the sentence. Now work on memorising just the trigger words. You can memorise up to 20 words per paragraph rather than 200.

It saves you time and ensures you master more information in a short span of time. The catch with this tip is in choosing the right trigger words that you will not forget easily.

  1. Start early

This is the most obvious, the safest and the surest tip. It’s also the most overlooked. Most students wait until the last minute and start rushing, trying to memorise everything in one night. Starting early is your safest bet. Memorising takes a bit of time, and starting early ensures you give the essay enough time to linger around in your mind multiple times. By the time you get to the exam, you can recall the entire essay without spending hours trying to force yourself to pick it up.

Just to be sure, try pumping out the essay a few weeks before the exam date to see how much of it you can remember. Give yourself as much time as possible going over it.

There’s also a catch with this tip. You don’t want to start super early. You will get bored and dump it. By the time you get to the exam, you will have forgotten everything. Timing is critical. You want to start early enough so that you are in high gear with just about a week to the exam by the time the exam is approaching.

Closing Remarks

With memorising an essay, it’s highly recommended to take as much time as possible to work on the essay. Although several tips help you memorise on short notice, short term memory tends to be fickle, especially in the face of anxiety and stress. You might get to the exam and realise you’ve forgotten everything.

10 Tips on How to Prepare for NAPLAN Year 7

NAPLAN is an examination that helps identify the strengths and weaknesses of students. It’s an exam for students in Years 3, 5, 7 and 9. Right around the time when NAPLAN is around the corner, stress levels in schools and homes around Australia rise sharply.

NAPLAN is considered one of the more challenging exams because it’s not part of the curriculum, leaving students little time to study. But you can still help your children prepare for the exam by using several tips to ensure they are ready for the exam.

  1. Touch base

Start by talking with your child about how they feel about NAPLAN. It will give you a good understanding of what you need to do to support your child through the NAPLAN testing.

Try to find out if the child is feeling anxious about the exam or if they are concerned about the test. It will help you identify how you can best support the student as they revise throughout the test week.

  1. Get familiar with the NAPLAN test

Taking time to understand the structure and layout of the NAPLAN test can help reduce anxiety and also point out areas of revision and preparation that the student should work on. There are NAPLAN practice tests available online that can help.

The student doesn’t need to do all the tests. Just look at the types of questions and style of the paper. Knowing what to expect can boost confidence, which can help them feel more familiar with the exam’s structure, layout, and wording, so they don’t miss anything.

  1. Work on completing NAPLAN online

Suppose your child will be sitting for the online version of NAPLAN. In that case, it’s imperative to take time before the test to complete some practise questions online to get comfortable using the technology and submitting the answers successfully.

Online NAPLAN simulators can help the students prepare for the online version of the exams and help them familiarise themselves with the platform.

  1. Emphasise the importance of reading

Reading is crucial to the student’s success in NAPLAN exams. The student has to read, understand and interpret exam-style questions. Reading practice should be a significant part of your revision and preparation process. Take time to see how the child comprehends what they read. If your child is good at reading and understanding comprehension, they have better chances of excelling in their NAPLAN and other exams.

  1. Work on your time management

Time management is a big struggle for many students, not only in NAPLAN but in any test. It’s common to see students run out of time before completing the test. It is often a result of not having a plan to use their time.

If your child has a similar problem, there are simple exercises you can do with them to improve time management skills. Go through the test components and look at how much time they need for each section.

Have a discussion with them about what that means and how long they should spend on each question. Also, help them figure out what to do when they get stuck on a specific question.

  1. Help them with a question approach

Suppose a student doesn’t understand a question, what should they do? Sometimes, it’s a matter of missing the details. So the first step is to re-read the question slowly and try to understand it from every angle.

In multiple-choice questions, you can have an elimination process to give yourself the best chances of getting the answer correct.

  1. Try brainstorming ideas for writing topics

One of the aspects of the NAPLAN exams is writing an informative, narrative or persuasive piece of writing. The student has to come up with ideas for this in the exam.

Some students will have the ideas flow naturally, while others will struggle to come up with any good ideas, especially in exam conditions. Try spending time with the student brainstorming ideas in response to a practice question to prepare and equip them with the skills to come up with good ideas on short notice.

  1. Get enough sleep

Getting enough rest is a tip that is often overlooked. Getting enough rest before the exam helps short and long-term memory performance. It also makes it easier for the student to concentrate, make better decisions, and improve cognitive speed and math processing. All these factors will make a big difference in the exams.

  1. Maintain your normal morning routine

The NAPLAN is a big deal to many students. But you need to stay as calm as possible. Sticking to our morning routine is an excellent place to start. It will normalise the day for you and reduce the chances of feeling stressed or anxious.

  1. Focus on the process, not the results

When sitting for the exam, it’s easy to focus on the results, while instead, you should be focusing on the process. NAPLAN is an excellent opportunity for you to get better at taking tests and overcome test anxiety. Concentrating on the process helps the student develop a reliable mechanism that they can use for all exams, not just the NAPLAN. This mechanism proves vital in managing anxiety and time.

10 Tips for Year 12

Getting into Year 12 is a bittersweet experience for students. It’s the final year of high school, but you’re also aware of the VCE exams at the end of the year, which will make a massive difference to your ATARs.

With so much happening in one year, it warrants proper preparation, and it’s better to start sooner rather than later. If you’re heading into Year 12, here are a few tips to help you start and end your final year of high school fun and successful.

  1. Know what you’re getting into

When choosing your ATARs, it’s easy to get carried away thinking about your post-high school life and career. But once you have a first experience of the lesson and find yourself hating the course, it will only get harder and more challenging to cope with overtime. You can talk to our head of the sixth form. There’s a chance you could change subjects in the first couple of weeks.

  1. Start as early as possible

You don’t have to wait until the new academic year starts. You can buy your textbooks during the school holidays and get familiar with every subject. This is also an excellent opportunity to jump ahead of the teacher, which will give you a slight edge.

  1. Research your post-school options

The whole point of Year 12 is to prepare you for university. It’s better to understand what you want to create realistic expectations firmly. It’s a great way to break from studies while also ensuring you stay motivated by reminding yourself of the bigger picture. You can research institutions and courses of interest and even make travel plans for the holidays once you’re done with Year 12. This is also an excellent time to organise things for your gap year.

  1. Organise and stay organised

It’s critical to get organised as early as possible. You can have a calendar where you mark all the year’s important dates, including the beginning of the VCEs. This will help you keep on track of all academic matters and plan to prepare for any tests or exams along the way. Always keep your diary updated with all the dates within the year as soon as they are released.

  1. Set realistic expectations

Year 12 is stressful all by itself. Setting expectations that are hard to achieve will only make things worse. It’s okay to have high standards for yourself, but it’s equally vital that they are realistic. Setting ambitious and realistic targets will keep you on track to achieve them.

  1. Free periods are for work and play

You need some time off study and read books. You can use free periods to refresh your mind and build relationships. Interacting with new people is an unavoidable part of being in Year 12, especially at the beginning. While you want to remain focused right from the get-go, it’s also important that you make relationships that might prove critical throughout the year.

  1. Keep your notes organised

Some of the habits you had in your GCSE years will come in handy in your A-Levels as well. Use separate notebooks to write notes for different subjects and file handouts in respective subject folders. With an intense curriculum, it’s easy to find yourself mixed up and trying to find notes without knowing where you wrote them. The sooner you get on top of your organisation, the sooner it becomes a habit and you won’t have to think twice about it.

  1. Ask for help when you need it

You’re a lot older and feel a little embarrassed to ask for assistance. But Year 12 can be stressful, and every student needs help at some point. Whether you’re struggling with a certain topic in class or you generally feel anxious, you have an entire support system that includes the school and your family that you can easily reach out to for help.

  1. Start your university research immediately

Get some ideas on courses you might be interested in from the onset. It saves you time and a potential crisis in Year 13 when submitting your applications. It also gives you a good idea of which subjects you should firmly focus on based on the courses that pique your interest.

  1. Don’t forget to live

With the constant pressure of deadlines, mounting notes and upcoming exams, Year 12 can prove a handful, tiring and strenuous. Sometimes, all you want to do with every free minute you have is sleep. But you shouldn’t forget to go out and enjoy yourself. Make sure there’s time in your revision timetable to socialise with friends and give yourself a mental break.

Techniques for Analysing a Visual Text

You will come across tests requiring visual test analysis, especially in the first section of the HSC English paper one. The visual text comes in various forms like book covers, paintings, posters, photographs and movie frames, among others. Each exam paper will contain one of these visual tests. Your job is to analyse them using various techniques to break the information down.

Visual text analysis is as vital as word text because, in the real world, most people employ visual language even without realising it. Honing those skills now goes a long way in ensuring you master the skills. Here’s a look at some visual text analysis techniques you can use.

Colour and lighting

Colour and lighting are two of the first observations you should make when analysing a visual text. Colours can represent a variety of things, feelings and emotions. Lighting can help to enhance any of these.

The colour red, for instance, often represents danger, anger, or lust, while yellow is a symbol of optimism or happiness.

Assessing the colours and lighting can help determine the mood being conveyed. When looking at the colour and lighting, pay attention to contrast. Check the contrast between the different colours and lighting spectrums, allowing things within the image to stand out based on relevance and importance to the text.

Salience and Vectors

A salient what attracts the viewer’s eye at first. It’s a vital and deliberate method used to attract the viewer’s attention to the most critical image with the most important meaning of the text. Salient features can take the form of a person, animal, or an important word. Anything that stands out and grabs your attention at first sight, is most likely a salient feature.

Vector features are slightly different. The text often has a path that leads the viewer’s eyes toward the image. This is the second most crucial area to view after the salient. Analysing the vector is critical because it often has a deeper meaning or understanding of the meaning or message of the image.

An example of a salient feature could be a crying crowd, while the vector feature could be a gravestone in the background which provides more profound meaning to the first impression you get from the salient feature.

Gaze and Body Language

These are advanced visual techniques that students should consider using when analysing a visual text. When appropriately used, the student can get higher standard answers that will likely stand out to those marking the paper.

The gaze is the general direction a character looks in within the image. It’s a clue as to which direction the audience will look. The viewer can use different terms to describe the gaze;

  • Offer – this is a gaze referring to the character looking towards another area in the image. You should follow the gaze to understand the importance and meaning of the presented features.
  • Demand – is a gaze referring to the character’s eyes making contact with the eyes of the audience. An excellent example of a demanding gaze is the famous Leonard da Vinci’s Mona Lisa painting. A demand gaze plays a critical role in determining the body language, gestures, and positioning of the character, which help convey different meanings on the attitude and personality of the character.

For instance, a slouched character with the head tilted down or gazing at the floor could indicate sadness or grief.


Everything on the displayed frame is essential. Most of the meanings and significant observations will come from the subjects on the image. Analyse the people, the objects, the background and any other item in the image. The decision to include that in the image gives you a strong bearing on the kind of meaning the author or creator wanted to pass.


It’s common for viewers to focus on the presence of people and objects in the picture and often overlook important absences. What or who is left out? Why are they missing, and why did the creator decide to omit the person or object from the frame? The responses to these questions all point to a particular meaning the creator would like us to form.


There are a lot of visual text analysis techniques you can use depending on the image you’re analysing. Additional techniques include placement and rule of thirds, symbolism, framing and shots. All these will help you identify critical meanings and information the creator was trying to hint to us.

At first, it’s challenging to identify the techniques to use. Therefore, it’s essential to consider every technique and obtain as much observation as possible to ensure you get the most accurate meaning.

How to Write an Introduction for a Text Response

Every Year 12 student is expected to write a text response essay. Knowing how to word the essay and structure it appropriately is critical to setting yourself apart from the crowd.

Most students consider text responses the easiest essays. The approach to the essay is overly simplified, leading to students not putting enough effort into drafting and structuring the essay. When writing a text response essay, the introduction is one of the most critical aspects to consider. Writing a well-structured and meaningful introduction sets you apart from the crowd to, the assessor.

Text Response Essays

Every student in year 12 is presented with three main types of topics for your text response:

  • A “Discuss” topic
  • A “Do You Agree?” question
  • A topic that uses a quote then asks questions about the theme suggested by that quote.

Generally, you will need a strong introduction to set the stage for your essay. The introduction must respond directly to the topic and present clear contention.

A “Discuss” Topic

With a discussion topic, you have the liberty to define the boundaries you intend to explore in your essay. These topics tend to have a broad range of responses, so students must practice caution to include too many ideas in the introduction.

The introduction should have a thread of ideas you will explore, organically linking the stories associated with the theme. This makes the sentences easier to handle and understand.

Also, when drafting the introduction, it’s vital to add some keywords from the topic and embed them into the essay.

A “Do You Agree?” Topic

The second type of topic you can find in a text response essay is the “do you agree?” topic. One of the most common mistakes students make when writing an introduction for this kind of topic is using the words ‘Yes,’ ‘no,’ ‘I agree,’ or ‘I disagree.’ These words are entirely off-limits. You should consider a more formal and objective way of framing your contention.

You might use a first-person perspective, but that’s not necessary as long as you present your clear point of view.

You should also focus on other characters named in the question (if any) besides the main character. This gives you more freedom to compare, contrast and explore in your essay.

A “Theme-based” Topic

Theme-based topics have a broader scope of exploration. But you should remember that you shouldn’t base the entire essay on the quote you have to get you started. However, you can reference the quote at some point in your essay. With theme-based topics, you need to show understanding of the context of the quote in relation to the text n general.

Your introduction can focus on some broad ideas you intend to delve into later in the essay. Having a broad approach to the introduction allows the writer to look at both implicit and explicit examples of the ideas suggested in the stories.

The introduction should have critical terms from the topic embedded. Also, remember that the introduction will establish how you advance with the contention. Hence you should take some time to draft and structure your introduction.

How to Write the Perfect Text Response Introduction

You should follow a few steps to ensure you come up with the best possible introduction regardless of the type of topic you’re dealing with.

Set up the context

While dealing with a play, novel, short story, or poem collection, it’s critical to start with a basic historical context. This should include the period, subject matter, and other vital details on which you will base the essay. This shouldn’t take more than a sentence or two. Keep this section brief because it is not the most important part of the essay.

Outline your contention – explicitly

Your contention should address every aspect of the topic you’ve been given. It should also demonstrate your ability to think independently, especially if you’re gunning for top marks. Most importantly, it should be unique. Your angle on this topic is the single most crucial factor of your essay.

Highlight the arguments in your essay

Give the assessor a hint of the points or mini-contentions that will form the basis of each paragraph. Ideally, you should aim for at least three body paragraphs and up to five if you’re feeling ambitious. Each mini contention should relate to the overall contention and the topic to give the entire essay some cohesion and continuity.

The introduction to your text response essay is not just about putting together three or four sentences to get you started. If you write the introduction well, you immediately create a positive impression on the assessor, which could mean getting top marks for the essay.

Typical Study Hours of an HSC Student

It’s a standard that, as an HSC student, you will need to put in more work than in your primary school days. Just how much time is not precise. The study hours required vary depending on the student and how seriously they are taking HSC. For some students, this can be confusing because they don’t know if they are putting in enough hours and more importantly, students need to know when they are doing too much.

So, an excellent place to start when preparing to enter HSC is to find out how many hours you should dedicate to studying.

How Much Should You Study in HSC?

Everyone is different, and so is the number of hours they study. There’s no definite number of hours to determine the effectiveness of the quality of your study. Therefore, there are no minimum hours that you should study. However, a few factors can determine typical hours of study and suggest the recommended amount.

The Bare Minimum

Although there are no set amount of study hours for HSC students, a bare minimum of hours is required per week. For HSC students, consistency is key to consolidating knowledge and efficiently retaining most of the information.

The bare minimum study hours for HSC students is one hour per day which equates to seven hours per week.

Although there’s no saying how many hours you should study, many students have studied an hour a day and have performed relatively well in their HSC. Spending less than an hour a day studying isn’t nearly enough to complete the vast amount of work that the HSC level demands. You need at least seven hours a week.

The recommended study time

The ideal number of hours to dedicate to study in HSC depends on the number of units undertaken by the student for their HSC. Consistency of the dedicated commitment to survive and thrive in HSC are also factors worth considering in this case.

If you have studied 12 units in your HSC year, as with most students, you need about 24 hours of study per week. That’s about three and a half hours per day.

If you study 10 units, that is about 20 hours per week or roughly three hours of study a day. 11 units require about 22 hours a week, 13 units require 26 hours and 28 hours for 14 units which are about 4 hours.

These recommended study periods don’t apply to everyone. Some students will easily put in 50 hours of study per week and show tremendous commitment and drive to succeed in their HSC. On the flip side, talented students study less than 20 hours a week and still manage to score ATARs in the 90s range.

What’s important is finding a study routine that works for you, committing to it, and sticking to it to the best of your ability.

Quality Vs Quantity

There’s always a debate on whether you should focus on the quantity or the quality of the study hours. The truth is, you need to find a balance of both to succeed in HSC.

There’s no point in sitting in front of your study material for eight hours with no plan or procrastinating most of the time. Also, you can take the shortest time to study with complete concentration, but you need at least half an hour for your mind to retain the information.

Factors that Affect Study Hours

One of the significant determinants of your study hours is the subjects you take and the degree of difficulty of each subject.

Subjects like Extension 2 Mathematics has enormous amounts of coursework. It is easily one of the most challenging subjects in HSC for most students.

Science subjects like Physics and Chemistry also require substantial study time and commitment because they are complex and content-heavy. You will need to spend more time studying to stay on top of your work.

Higher scaling subjects in the HSC require more commitment and study time. But subjects are not the only factor.

Individual strengths also have an impact on your study hours. Every student is unique, which impacts study hours differently. Some students are naturally good at some subjects and will require less time to pass those subjects. If you find areas where you’re strong, you can use that to your advantage and allocate more time to focus on your weaker subjects.

The only mistake you can make is allocating more time to subjects you’re strong in. Unfortunately, it is a mistake that many students make often.

Maths Revision Year 8 Tips

Revising for maths at any level is no easy task. In Year 8, you face your second year of HSC, and the topics keep piling up. You need a rigorous revision program to keep up with all the new concepts and solidify your understanding of the old ones. But how do you keep up with it all? Here are a few tips to help you make your Year 8 maths revision effective and efficient.

Do an initial assessment

Before you can start making any preparations, you need to know how much you need to focus. You can use a past paper or mock exams to give you essential insight into areas you do well on and others that require more attention.

Once you know your strongest and weakest topics in maths, you can now start planning out what you want to revise and how to go about it. If your test score is low, don’t lose confidence, it’s a great starting point and will give you a greater sense of satisfaction once you start improving on the topic.

Set a timetable for revision

Now that you have a clear idea of the work cut out for you, the next step is setting a timetable for revision. When planning your time, be strict with yourself. You can enforce self-discipline by making a revision timetable and sticking to it.

Your timetable should have a structured day that includes breaks and blocks of revision time. Having a good balance of both will increase the efficiency of your revision. It also ensures that all the material is covered before it’s time for any exams or tests.

Focus on creating a timetable that suits you. If you’re not a morning person, you can have a timetable that sets the revision when you work best to enhance the results of the revision.

Be practical

Most subjects in Year 8 will have thick textbooks. You have to go through the books to understand and learn the theories. With maths, it’s different. Although there’s a lot you can learn from a textbook, the best way to learn maths is by doing maths.

You will find that doing 30 minutes of maths has more impact than two hours of going through textbooks you are learning while doing the questions.

Give weaker topics more attention

No exam will comprise only one type of question. Therefore, you need to ensure your revision addresses areas you’re good at and those not good at.

During revision, it’s better to start by tackling topics and questions that you struggle with the most. By beginning with the areas you’re weak at, you have more time to work on the topics, and your attention is better, giving you better results. You can then have fresher sessions on the topics you’re good at.

Practice exam questions

Textbook math questions often focus on helping students understand the concept at hand. They are not as challenging as exam questions, which sometimes require students to draw knowledge from different topics to solve the problem.

There are two reasons you should use exam questions when revising for Year 8 maths. The first is that you get to tackle more challenging problems that test your revision mechanism and determine if it’s yielding positive results.

Using exam questions also gives you an idea of what to expect when the exams come knocking. You can turn up the pressure once in a while by timing yourself to put yourself in an actual exam situation. This is critical in ensuring you have the right experience and get used to complete the papers within the allocated time.

Get help

There are some topics in maths you may never get your head around no matter how hard you revise. Acknowledging this and getting additional help and support is critical in helping you crack the topics. If you relentlessly try to understand the concepts yourself, you will only stress yourself and take up too much unnecessary time.

You can ask friends and family for help. If that doesn’t work, you can try engaging your teacher outside of lessons or even consider more focused one-on-one support from a qualified maths tutor.


Resting is just as important as revising. Without adequate rest, the topics you’re trying to master become jumbled, and the revision process becomes a nightmare because the brain can’t absorb any more information.

You should take breaks between each new topic, try and reflect on what you have just worked on and let it soak naturally. You should also get enough rest to avoid stress and maintain a laser-sharp focus on your next revision session.

10 Tips for Year 7

The beginning of high school can have a lot of mixed feelings. It can be an exciting time for students, but at the same time, so much is changing. You’re about to get a whole new set of subjects, meet new people, teachers, and a new environment. The change is often drastic, exhilarating and worrisome for some students. But, you can make the most out of this experience right from the start with these tips.

  1. Get set as early as possible

It’s essential to hit the ground running when you join high school, especially in academic terms. The wheels turn fast, and just as fast as you joined, you could be on your way out. Ensure you have all the tools you need before day one. Have your stationery, uniform and study space prepared before your first day. Parents can help in organising the notes from day one.

  1. Take a step back

Students will take their first day in high school differently. Some are recessed, and some are loud and aggressive right from the first day. The latter will often turn off their peers and likely annoy the older high schoolers. As a result, they can have an unpleasant experience with constant rejection. Try and take in the experience and get comfortable before you try to make yourself known.

  1. Get a good, distraction-free study space

Your academic workload is about to go to another level. Instead of waiting until you’re knee-deep in assignments and falling behind in class, work on getting a good study space where you can focus on academics out of class. Keep the area clean, tidy and focused.

  1. Get a homework and study planner

You will have several assignments at any given time, and you will still need to set aside some study time. A homework and study planner can help you stay on top of everything, always hand in every assignment on time, and keep up with your studies.

  1. Set realistic goals for your first term

Considering it’s your first time in high school, it’s easy to set the bar too high for yourself, which can demoralise and demotivate you. Set manageable and practical goals and dedicate yourself to achieving them. The best time for setting these goals is when you’re feeling refreshed and re-energised, which is at the beginning of the term.

  1. Make good first impressions

First impressions are as valuable in school as in the outside world. Not only just to your peers but also to the teachers who will be with you through the years. If you come across as rude over the first couple of weeks, you will be treated as such over the next few years. Treat the teachers and classroom with respect, and you will get so more out of being in high school.

  1. Enjoy the experience

High school is a new chapter that begins in Year 7. Make as many new friends as possible to create a solid social ring around you. As you will notice, cliques will form quite fast, and without friends, you might be left out feeling lonely and like an outcast. At the same time, be careful about who you associate with if possible, ensure your friends are the same age as you and are also new to the school so you can grow together.

  1. Get involved

There’s so much happening at the beginning of Year 7. It’s practically your choice what you want to do. You can ask your teacher or peer leader about the activities around school. This is your opportunity to get more out of school than just the knowledge. Find an activity, club or something else you love and get in there. There earlier you start, the better.

  1. Be flexible with the subjects you study

The level of study in high school scales a bit, which is enough to throw some students off balance. Try being flexible with what you study and when. If you have a big maths exam coming up, you can spend an evening working on maths and then work on other subjects the next day. Try to get a routine as early as possible. Although you might not have much at first, you can use that time to get ahead.

  1. Don’t be afraid to ask for help

There are teachers, and you also have friends with that you can ask questions. Whether it’s something you didn’t get or you need help with grammar and writing, there’s always someone you can ask for assistance.

Many students will have numerous goals when getting into high school. But you shouldn’t forget to enjoy the new experience in your new environment and school.

How Much Do Tutors Earn in Australia?

Tutoring is a profession with numerous benefits. It’s convenient, and tutors get to make a difference in the lives of the students they work with. But, is it a worthwhile profession in terms of remuneration? Can you make enough as a tutor to sustain yourself financially? Of course, numerous factors will determine how much you make as a tutor, but this blog should give you a rough idea of how much tutors earn in Australia.

Average Tutor Earning in Australia

Tutors working in Australia earn around 74,300 AUD per year on average. The salary can range from 34,200 AUD to 118,000 AUD for the best-paid tutors in the country.

This average salary includes housing and transport, among other benefits. From the figures, it’s clear that the salaries vary drastically. How much you earn typically depends on your experience, skills, and location.

Median Tutor’s Salary in Australia

The median salary for tutors in Australia is about 80,300 AUD per year. That means about 50% of the people who work as tutors earn around this figure. About 25% of the tutors earn less than the average figure of 51,500 AUD, while the rest earn more.

Private Tutors

Private tutors have excellent working conditions and flexibility. As a private tutor, you have the freedom to charge an hourly rate that works best for you. You’re not limited by working for a tutoring agency. However, finding clients proves a little more tedious.

As a private tutor, you can set your hourly tutoring rate at 20 AUD per hour to as much as 80 AUD per hour for one-on-one sessions.

Going wild with the rates might be tempting, but it’s vital to remain competitive. The best approach is to weigh your qualifications and experience with the services required. Trained education support workers might charge more than untrained tutors. The subject you tutor might also determine how much you make as a tutor.

Online Tutor

As an online tutor, you can offer your services independently or partner with a reputable online tutoring company like Alchemy Tuition.

The online tutoring company can charge the student with weekly or monthly tutoring packages and pay you for the services accordingly. As an online tutor, you rely on live-streaming, email correspondence, and essay review technologies. Online tutoring gives you access to a greater audience and gives you the potential to earn a higher income.

Special Education Tutor

Special education tutors have extra training and work with children with disability by using unique learning strategies. Special tutors devote more time to connect with the student. Understanding the curriculum, planning, organising, and assigning activities are often more tedious. Typically, special education tutors charge more than private tutors because of the preparation and assistance required.

The additional training and qualification also demand better pay, and on average, special education tutors earn better than private and online tutors.

Factors Causing Tutors Fees to Vary

Tutoring income varies wildly. Some tutors make a decent income, and others barely scratch the surface. If you’re serious about tutoring and want to increase your revenue, the best place to start is by understanding the factors that cause tutor fees to vary.

Geographical location

Some locations have a higher demand for tutors than others. As such, the rate for tutoring in areas like Melbourne will be more attractive and higher than in the more rural areas of Australia. Typically, tutoring rates will be higher in and around major cities then drop as you get further from the city.


Unfortunately, gender might also determine how much you earn in tutoring. Men often charge more for the same services. If you’re a female tutor, it’s essential to be aware of this gap. However, it shouldn’t dictate what you will be earning. You can still demand as much as your male counterparts as long as you deliver quality results. We don’t discriminate. All our tutors get equal pay.

Level of study

As students advance, the level of study required to tutor also advances. You should expect to pay less for an hour of primary maths tutoring for an hour of Year 12 maths. The more study the tutor needs, the more they can charge.

This same principle applies to subjects as well. Languages, art lessons, and teaching musical instruments demand less pay than more demanding subjects like maths and sciences.

How to Make More as a Tutor

If you’re new to the tutoring field, or you’ve been working for a while, but you’re still not earning enough, there are several things you can do to improve your earnings.

Increase experience

As a tutor, experience plays a critical role in what you earn. More experienced tutors are more likely to make more. They have a firm understanding of the subject with tried and proven processes that have yielded positive results for years.

Get trained

Getting training and certification can drastically improve your value and what you earn as a tutor. Generally, untrained tutors don’t make as much as trained tutors. It is one of the things you could complete quickly to improve your income as a tutor.

Change subjects

This might be a little more difficult than it sounds. But if you can, changing subjects might increase demand for your tutoring services and also allow you to increase your tutoring rates. However, you should have a firm grasp of the subjects you’re changing to, which makes this more complicated than it sounds.

Final Thoughts

There’s no doubt that you can make a decent living as a tutor. You can also use tutoring as a way to supplement your primary income. While you might not upgrade in terms of job title and responsibilities, you can increase your revenue over time and become among the best-paid tutors in Australia.

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